Forest got their season off to a solid start with a point at Hullbridge Sports, despite six players making their debuts for the club.
Forest could have been ahead within ten seconds of the game after Mahammad Faal pounced on Sports’ wayward kick-off, but he was eventually crowded out in the box.
Nana Yiadom went close for Forest, having an effort tipped wide, before the homeside took the lead through former Stags forward Luca Frankis, who headed home unchallenged after Forest gave away a soft free kick.
But Forest were not on the back foot for long. There was an air fortune about the leveller, with Mohammed Sagaf’s scuffed corner going through the legs of the man on the post and the Sports goalkeeper, with the linesman confirming the ball did indeed cross the line.
The second half started in the same vein as the first, with Forest dominating but the home side scoring the first goal. Frankis was again left unmarked and able to roll the ball home despite a poor first touch.
Within six minutes, the scores were level again as Yiadom held off challenges from two defenders before firing in low and hard.
Sports were lucky to keep 11 men on the pitch as Ben Perry was only shown a yellow for a thigh-high challenge on Faal. And they should have been ahead, but somehow squandered a five-on-two counter attacking opportunity.
The last ten minutes saw both sides throw bodied forward, and if not for some poor final passes, Forest could have well taken all three points.